The Colosseum in Rome is to undergo major restoration works from December until 2015.
The estimated cost of the works is 25 million euros. It will be carried out in phases so that most of the the world famous visitor attraction will remain open during the project.
At the weekend it was reported that the Colosseum is slowly sinking to the extent that it is now 40cm lower on the south side than the north.
However experts say there is no structural danger.
“The monument is very stable”, said Rossella Rea, the director of the Colosseum. “It is very stable otherwise we wouldn’t have arranged for the kind of intervention that we are carrying out but would have obviously have opted for a very different course of action.”
The project, which had been delayed for three years due to bureaucratic problems, will include cleaning and restoration of the entire structure. When it is finished more of the Colosseum will be open to the public than before.
“I believe it is not an exaggeration to say that a restoration of this magnitude and significance has not been carried out in the past 73 years. Something similar was done in 1938-39”, said Rome’s mayor Gianni Alemanno.
The Colosseum is almost two thousand years old and is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. Millions of people visit the ampitheatre every year making it one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world.